Horrifying video shows Atlanta cop kicking mentally ill woman in head for spitting at him
Ashley was reportedly kicked in the face by one of the responding officers after she spat on him while laying on the ground
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Two police officers have been placed on administrative leave after they were caught on camera kicking a mentally unwell woman in the head while she lay on the ground handcuffed during an arrest.
Police responded to reports of a domestic incident Monday afternoon, July 26, at an apartment in Summerhill, Atlanta, according to Atlanta Uncensored, which shared the shocking footage on social media. The woman was reportedly kicked in the face by one of the responding officers after she spat on his boots and pants while laying on the ground with her hands cuffed behind her back.
Video of the incident caused quite a stir online, as the witness who filmed it said they captured only one of several times the woman was kicked by the officers. The footage, which lasted only seven seconds, showed the woman lying face down on the ground next to the two cops — a male and a female — and some parked cars nearby.
The woman was seen in the video raising her head in the direction of the male cop, who then kicked her in the head with his right foot. The female officer did not seem to intervene or make an attempt to stop the incident. A third cop is seen coming around the side of the patrol car just as the footage ends. "Do you think excessive force was used in this situation?" Atlanta Uncensored's Instagram account asked in the caption.
While the identities of the officers have not been released, both the woman and the officer who kicked her are Black. The woman, who was identified only as 'Ashley,' was kicked more than once by the officer, according to the neighbor who shot the footage.
"They actually kicked her down the hill and she went rolling," she told CBS 46 on condition of anonymity. "She was spitting at the officer and then she had already spit on him once before but it didn't get on him, so she spit on him again and it got on his boots and that's when he decided to kick her in the face." The neighbor said she confronted the officer after he kicked Ashley. "We was like why did you kick her, he was like I didn't kick her, he didn't even know that somebody was recording," she said.
In a statement, the Atlanta Police Department confirmed that Police Chief Rodney Bryant had been made aware of the video "showing an Atlanta Police sergeant kicking a woman in her head."
The incident unfolded after officers responded to 35 Haygood Avenue at around 12.30 pm following reports of a woman walking around and pointing a gun at several people. Police detained the woman arriving on the scene. "Officers became concerned with the female's mental health and requested Grady EMS transport her to the hospital for evaluation. The female was not charged," the statement read. The department slammed the actions of the officers involved and revealed both had been suspended pending an investigation.
Atlanta PD described the actions of the sergeant as "unacceptable" and said it was "also concerned with the apparent lack of reaction from another officer present during the incident." The officer who kicked the woman was placed on unpaid suspension while his female partner at the scene was placed on administrative assignment.
Speaking to CBS 46, Ashley's aunt Nell Gibson said she was "horrified" by the treatment meted out to her niece, who she said suffers from mental health problems and is on medication for the same. "It was a woman down on the ground in handcuffs, oh man I am totally horrified, I'm speechless, not only that it's a police officer," she told the station. "Ashley does have some mental health problems we thought she was off her meds because she's been acting kind of off."
An expedited investigation led by the Atlanta Police Department's Office of Professional Standards is underway, after which the police chief will determine the appropriate course of action against the officers involved in the incident.